He challenges their race-based grievances and holds views more in line with ordinary black Americans.
When an interviewer asked me what I made of Joy Reid’s insulting Justice Clarence Thomas on MSNBC earlier this month, I said it was disappointing but hardly surprising. The black left has been calling Justice Thomas a race traitor for decades. It’s what they do when they can’t refute his arguments.
During an Election Day panel discussion with Rachel Maddow and Nicolle Wallace, Ms. Reid referred in passing to “Uncle Clarence”—a play on “Uncle Tom,” the epithet used to describe a black man who is servile toward whites. Either MSNBC is OK with its hosts using racial slurs on the air, or the network is under the impression that Ms. Reid and the justice are related.
In any case, she joins a long list of liberal black elites—journalists, activists, academics, politicians—attacking Justice Thomas as a sellout for having the audacity to disagree with them on racial issues generally and on affirmative action in particular. Testifying against Justice Thomas’s confirmation in 1991, Rep. Major Owens likened him to Vidkun Quisling, the Norwegian military officer who collaborated with the Nazis. On PBS in 1994, the political commentator Julianne Malveaux remarked: “I hope his wife feeds him lots of eggs and butter and he dies early, like many black men do, of heart disease.”
Photo by Susan Walsh-Pool/Getty Images